Best Record: Cloud Nothings — Attack on Memory, Guided by Voices — Let’s Go Eat at the Factory, Japandroids — Celebration Rock, Mark Lanegan Band — Blues Funeral and The Men — Open Your Heart all burnt up a lot of turntable and headphone this year.
Worst Record: Any “ironically” appreciated mainstream pop act. It’s not music, it’s a product.
Best Local Release: Fist City, Jon Gant, Stalwart Sons and a bunch more I’m sure I’m forgetting. We don’t suffer from a lack of great bands in Calgary.
Best Local Show: I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I was beside myself with how well The Palomino Anniversary Party went. Thanks to all involved.
Favourite Sled Island Memory: I work A LOT during Sled so please remember to thank all the venues, volunteers and Sled staff for keeping it awesome. That being said Oh No! Yoko, Dog Day, Camp Radio, Terry Malts, The Urinals, Craig Finn, Twin River, Shotgun Jimmy and Cannon Bros made my 16-hour days easier. Seeing Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet at the Legion was great. And I hate myself for missing Archers of Loaf.
Most Disappointing Local Moment: Watching couch potatoes desperately replace the lack of hockey with baseball. You could, you know, always leave the house.
Big Ugly Jim
Best Record: Bloody Hells – Why Hasn’t Anyone Killed You Yet? (This is local, but it’s awesome, and I wanted to mention it, so there).
Worst Record: Every time I listen to a Johnny Incognito album, even though they’ve not been a band for ages.
Best Local Release: Oh Shit — Get The Fuck Off Our Bus.
Best Local Show: Calgary Beer Core’s Dark Carnival. It was, from start to finish, incredibly fun.
Favourite Sled Island Memory: Watching the looks on the bouncers’ faces when the Pine Tarts started showering the stage and crowd with sparkles at the Distillery
Most Disappointing Local Moment: My mom would probably say I am the biggest disappointment in town, but I’m going to go with “bitching”: This band isn’t good; that venue sucks; we hate them; they hate us. I’m not pretending that we’re all going to like everything, but get over it already.
Best Record: Propagandhi — Failed States. I fell in love with this record the second I got my copy. Four months, later I haven’t stopped listening.
Worst Record: Offspring — Days Go By. If you want to actually hear what shit sounds like, listen to this album.
Best Local Release: Night Committee — Crime. This band is disgustingly good.
Best Local Show: Turrettes reunion at the Ship and Big Nate’s Metalfest thing at the New Black.
Favourite Sled Island Memory: It’s a toss up between Larry and His Flask and the Evaporators.
Most Disappointing Local Moment: The Distillery shutting down and/or me missing the Hot Snakes.
Best Record: Father John Misty — Fear Fun, Ladyhawk — No Can Do, Needles//Pins — 1234, The Mohawk Lodge — Damaged Goods, Swans — Seer.
Worst Record: That’s a mean question! I keeps my disappointments a secret.
Best Local Release: Night Committee — Crime. Andrew Wedderburn is just the most enchanting for me. I’m a huge fan of Lorrie Matheson and I just think they have the best dynamic and write incredible songs together. This album is a must-have.
Best Local Show: I’m going to have to go with the Canyon Party. Walking twenty minutes on a semi dried-up river bed, in the pitch black, hauling gear and beer, and ending up in a beautifully candle- and torch-lit canyon was pretty mind-blowing. HighKicks, Falcon, Scorched Banditos (so much fire blowing!) and a bunch of other bands played under a waterfall (so dangerous!) while a bunch of people on acid swung on the sketchiest rope swing I’ve ever seen. The sound was amplified like only carved rock can. It was just so out of this world and the whole experience was perfect.
The best local show in a bar was the Dojo Workhorse album release at Broken City, because it was the most uplifting soft rock n roll group hug I’ve ever been a part of.
Favourite Sled Island Memory: For 2012? I’m going to go with seeing Cannon Bros crowd surf to The Dudes at the Commonwealth Kick-Off Party, getting hugged on multiple occasions by Thurston Moore, packed house sing-alongs at the Ladyhawk show at the Pal, sitting side-stage at Hot Snakes watching Scott Ross be the happiest mother effer alive. Also, running my ass off to get it done with two of the best guys ever, Shawn Petsche and Phil Cimolai.
Most Disappointing Local Moment: The closing of The Distillery for the progress of Big Business. That room was incredible beautiful and important to the Calgary scene. You can’t keep those guys down, though. Stay tuned for their next venue adventure!
Best Record: Picking the best album of the year is always hard for me and so many great bands gave us incredible albums this year. Here’s a few worth getting: Torche — Harmonicraft, Bison — Lovelessness, White Hills — Frying on This Rock, and Earth — Angles of Darkness, Demons of Light II. Any one of these could be album of the year for me.
Worst Record: I felt pretty let down with 3 Inches Of Blood’s Long Live Heavy Metal. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I wanted from them, I guess.
Best Local Release: Local album of the year, I’d say, is Jung People’s Tenterhooks. Now, I know this came out in December 2011 (close enough) but it was enjoyed all of 2012 and years to come.
Favourite Sled Island Memory: My best Sled Island memory for me, hands down, was seeing Hot Snakes. I have to say, whoever was responsible for getting them to come to Calgary deserves a very big pat on the back. So, Calgary, I’m looking really forward to 2013 and everything it has to offer. Happy New Years Palgarians and keep making your city the best it can be.
By Friends of BeatRouteAB, Alberta